The percent of births delivered via cesarean section at the hospital you are considering having your baby is SO important. Not only can it inform you of your chances in having a vaginal birth at that location, but also because it demonstrates the quality of care that particular hospital is providing to birthing women.
What is an ideal cesarean section rate? There isn't a precise percent, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a rate of 5-10% with data indicating that rates above 15% do more harm than good (childbirthconnection.org).
Cesarean sections are MAJOR surgeries and are not without risk; especially repeat c-sections. Risks of cesarean surgery include things such as infection, hemorrhage, reaction to anesthesia and more. Repeat cesareans further increase the risks to the mother and child, such as greater risk of hemorrhage in the mother and damage to internal organs due to scar tissue adhesion - looking into a provider that supports VBAC is an important decision you should make.
Unfortunately NOT ONE SINGLE HOSPITAL in the Tampa Bay Area has a cesarean rate under 15%. Even more unfortunate is the large range of variability between hospital's c-section rates, which speaks to the lack of consistency in care and the absence of truly informed evidence-based medical practices.
Truly, much of medical maternity care is still one large experiment in the US and around some of the industrialized world.
So what is the cesarean section rate at YOUR local hospital?
If you aren't planning to deliver at a hospital with a low rate of cesarean sections and that will respect your birth, then you should find another provider and location!
You can look into a birth center, or home birth with a midwife as well :)
~Wisdom and Birth